STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study on Tuesday that shows the spread of COVID-19 in K-12 schools can be low when proper mitigation measures are followed.
Researchers for the CDC studied 17 elementary schools in Wisconsin for several months. This included collecting data on thousands of students and hundreds of teachers. What was found was that with the right precautions in place, there were very little instances of in-school spread, limited spread among students and no known transmission to or from staff.
“Only seven of 191 cases (3.7%) were linked to in-school transmission, and all seven were among children. Mask-wearing among students was reported by teachers as high, which likely contributed to low levels of observed disease transmission in these 17 K–12 schools. Although asymptomatic transmission is possible, this study demonstrated that, with precautions in place, in-school transmission of SARS-CoV-2 appeared to be uncommon in this rural Wisconsin community, despite up to a 40% positive SARS-CoV-2 test rate in the surrounding county,” the study explained.In the Shenandoah Valley, leaders of the Central Shenandoah Health District say that there have been very few COVID-19 outbreaks within schools.
“We are seeing transmission happening more so outside of the school setting which would then still impact if there is an exposure in a school but the actual transmission happening in a school we have seen very limited outbreak due to that,” Laura Lee Wight with CSHD explained in a Zoom interview.
Local districts brought back a higher percentage of their students at the start of the second semester and new year.
“They are doing a great job in making the mitigation measures are continuing to happen in the school,” Wight explained . “Requiring universal face masks usage, continuing to increase physical distancing between teachers and students and students and students in classrooms and in the common areas. As well as making sure that students are following respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.”
You can read more about the transmission of COVID-19 in schools within grades K-12 by clicking here.